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Little warm on ban on unvaccinated kids

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/03/2017
Andrew Little © Phil Walter/Getty Images Andrew Little

A plan to ban unvaccinated children from childcare centres and pre-schools in Australia is worth considering in New Zealand also, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

His comments come after Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull asked his country's state and territory leaders to back a national policy and more consistent laws on vaccination.

Mr Turnbull already has the backing of Australia's Opposition Party.

On Tuesday, Mr Little told TVNZ, he would consider a ban because the point of mass vaccination was that everybody got treated.

"It's well worth looking at," he said.

"Those who choose not to [vaccinate their children] put others at risk and that's not right, particularly when we we have the chance to eliminate some pretty terrible diseases."

In Australia, the government already has a tough "no jab, no pay" policy of withholding family payments to parents of unvaccinated children with the "no jab, no play" policy aiming to supplement this.

About 93 per cent of Australian children are said to be vaccinated, but Mr Turnbull wants to take that rate above 95 per cent.

In New Zealand, 87 per cent of all children aged five, and 92.8 per cent of two-year-olds were fully immunised last year, according to the Ministry of Health.

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